Robert Pera, who is near the completion of a deal which will lead to his purchase of the Memphis Grizzlies, is looking for minority owners to help foot the bill. But instead of anonymous suits and business moguls, Pera is going the Mikhail Prokhorov route and dipping into the music scene. Except his minority owner musician isn’t exactly Jay-Z. It’s Justin Timberlake.
“Sources told ESPN.com that Timberlake and Pera have quickly struck up a friendship, with one source adding that the singer/actor is making ‘a meaningful investment into the team’ and ‘plans to be active’ with the Grizzlies. The league office, sources said, has been made aware of Timberlake’s proposed involvement and is already well acquainted with him after inviting the self-proclaimed basketball junkie to participate in various celebrity games at All-Star Weekend.”
The Grizzlies have long been a franchise lacking in star power, both on the court and off the court, so this move by Pera is noteworthy for that reason alone. What interest Timberlake might have in owning a basketball team is unknown at this point, though who can blame anyone for wanting to partially own an NBA franchise? We’ll presume that it’s unlikely that Timberlake plays as a large a role in the Memphis operations as Jay-Z does with Brooklyn, but we can’t imagine that Pera would bring on one of the most famous musicians of the last ten years for purely financial reasons. At the very least, Timberlake will help to grow the Grizzlies brand from more than just a niche franchise.
What do you think?
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